I’ve sailed with gear that’s good, bad and unmentionable. In this section, I give you the heads-up on various bits of kit and products that work for me. More to come.

René Brent – Quay Canvas

I was René’s first-ever customer, back in 1974! He made the loose cushion covers for my boat. I remember them well. Ros, my wife, had chosen a Sanderson fabric that set off the rich varnish. We used to take them off at sea and survive…

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Teak Decks from TLC

When I went to America to look over Constance, I specifically asked the broker how the decks looked. I knew how bad 25-year-old teak decks can be. He said they were OK, so I hopped a plane to Florida, only to be confronted by a…

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Meridian Chartware

I don't understand why more people aren't using their laptops to run real-time raster charts. I have been using Meridian Chartware's software for years now and I can't really fault it. After-sales backup is great too. A raster chart conforms to IHO (International Hydrographic Organisation)…

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Raymarine

I’ve been using Raymarine electronics on board my boats for many years now. There's a lot of choice out there but, on balance across the board, I find them the most user-friendly. No electronics firm is perfect and my pal Alan Watson, the radar guru,…

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Garmin

When I acquired my new boat, I inherited a bulkhead mounted Garmin 200 VHF. I turfed out a load of old electronics and re-equipped, but I kept the Garmin radio because it seemed to work well and it had a good reputation. After a long…

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Torqeedo Electric Outboard

My wife hates outboards. I’ll never forget running up the magical Frenchman’s Creek off the Helford River with her in my trusty red punt, complete with 1½HP British Seagull. I could have rowed, but the Seagull had only recently come my way at the popular…

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Leisure Furl

Leisure Furl in-boom reefing system My latest yacht came with a retro-fit Leisure Furl in-boom reefing system. I'd wanted a stack pack and assumed that 'job number one' would be binning the boom. However, there was evidence that the unknown American sailor who'd installed it…

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